Topeka Public Schools students return to classroom

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 9:03 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The stars of Shaner Early Learning Academy were greeted with lines of smiles to welcome them back to the classroom Monday.

It is the first time students have been in the classroom since November.

The reunion was just as exciting for teachers as it was students.

“It’s like seeing a best friend you haven’t seen in a long time,” preschool teacher Rae Lauxman said.

“It’s why you’re a teacher.”

Even after several weeks of remote schooling, students are showing confidence in the classroom.

“Honestly, I think they handle these transitions better than many adults. You know, they just sort of go with the flow,” Lauxman said.

“We don’t pretend it didn’t happen, because it did. So, we talk about those things, and then we review our expectations because being in the building is a whole new thing.” Principal La Manda Broyles said learning during the pandemic taught students to embrace challenges.

“We can control our attitude; we can control our perspective,” Broyles said.

“When COVID first hit, one of the rules that we had here at Shaner was we weren’t going to say what we can’t do because of COVID; we were going to say ‘We’re going to do these things differently’.”

While in-person resumes, the school is working to balance safety and normalcy.

“We want to be very very safe, but we also want school to feel like school,” Broyles said.

“When students and staff are not in here, Shaner is a building. It is the students and the staff that make this building come alive. So, it’s just special; it’s contagious. You know you see the excitement, you see the joy, you see the comfort.”

Lauxman echoed the sentiments.

“Being at school is really one of the best choices for these kiddos, so we’re gonna do it in a safe way,” she said. “We’re really excited to get together again and work and play and have fun and just start 2021 on the right foot.”

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